Future USNS Carson City (EPF 7), the U.S. Navy’s next expeditionary fast transport ship successfully completed acceptance trials during an underway period in the Gulf of Mexico in late May.
The Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) boarded Carson City for acceptance trials to examine and evaluate the ship for delivery to the U.S. Navy. The readiness of the ship is demonstrated by conducting numerous tests both dockside and underway.
The keel for Carson City was laid in July 2015 at Austal’s Alabama shipyard and the ship was christened on January 15, 2016.
“Acceptance trials is a major step towards delivering Carson City to the Navy,” said Capt. Henry Stevens, Strategic and Theater Sealift Program Manager, Program Executive Office, Ships. “The ship performed very well at acceptance trials, which is a great reflection of the hard work of our contractor and government team’s commitment to delivering quality ships.”
Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) ships are 338-foot shallow draft aluminum catamarans, multi-mission, non-combatant transport vessels designed to operate in shallow-draft ports and waterways.
They are capable of interfacing with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, as well as on/off-loading vehicles such as a fully combat-loaded M1 Abrams tank. Each vessel includes a flight deck to support day and night aircraft launch and recovery operations. Carson City will have airline-style seating for 312 embarked forces with fixed berthing for 104.
After delivery of EPF 7 later this year, Austal will deliver a further three expeditionary fast transport vessels from its shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, under a US$1.6 billion, 10-ship block-buy contract with the U.S. Navy. Final assembly is well underway on Yuma (EPF 8) and modules for City of Bismarck (EPF 9) are under construction in Austal’s module manufacturing facility.